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Eros , or romantic love, is the desire two have for each other. Plato considered eros something like poetic rapture upon seeing the beauty of another. Eros is the longing for the beauty and company of the beloved when two persons fall in love. This is in contrast to someone who has sexual desire without being in love, who wants to use the other strictly for selfish pleasure. A utilitarian relationship, in which the sexual partner becomes an object for use, holds no long-term possibility for joy, fulfillment, or happiness, but rather leaves one empty, disappointed, and ultimately alone.

Philia is the love of friendship, but may have conditions. It gives, but may expect something equal in return.

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Agape is true, unconditional love, a generosity of spirit which gives and expects nothing in return. It is the love that God has for us. It is love at the highest level. The more true love there is between a man and a woman, or among family and friends, the more successful the relationship.

It burns with blazing flame, a raging fire. Torrents of rain cannot quench love; nor floods sweep it away. Song of Songs Love is patient, love is kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

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Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. First Letter of St.


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Paul to the Corinthians For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God. Paul to the Thessalonians Peter Marriage is the institution of our Creator and blessed in the ceremony of our Churches to realize God's design for love. Marriage recognizes the interpersonal relationship of man and woman, in which the well-being and self-realization of each partner become a priority for the other.

Marriage affords a framework for the mutual love and self-giving of man and woman to each other in human sexuality, and in so doing provides for continuity of the human family. World religions and the Natural Law have always protected the sanctity of marriage and the family. Jesus Christ stressed the importance of the marriage bond by performing his first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana John !

He supported marriage in his Ministry Matthew , Mark It is the Apostle Paul who identifies the marriage of man and woman with the unity of Christ and his Church Ephesians Marriage provides a solid foundation for romantic love.

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The union of a man and a woman is natural. The natural language - indeed, the very biology - of the human body is such that the man gives to the woman and the woman receives the man. True love and friendship between a man and a woman grow into a desire for marriage. Marriage gives the couple the grace to grow into a union of heart and soul, and to provide stability for themselves and their children. Children are the fruit and bond of a marriage. The bond of marriage between a man and a woman lasts all the days of their lives, and the form of the ceremony consists of the mutual exchange of vows by a couple.

The man gives the woman a ring, but often there is a mutual exchange of rings. The Church celebration and requirements vary with each particular faith.

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In the Sacrament of Marriage, both members of the couple have been baptized. In the Catholic and Jewish faiths, the couple marry each other through an exchange of solemn vows and ring s , with the priest or rabbi serving only as a witness. During the Middle Ages and in times of persecution, such as in England, Ireland, and the British colonies such as Maryland Colony, where public Catholic ceremonies were forbidden, clandestine marriages were considered valid. The marriage could later be blessed from the beginning with a Catholic priest as witness.

In many Protestant and Eastern rites, the minister himself marries the couple by pronouncing the couple man and wife after the exchange of vows and ring s.


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The marriage is later sealed during the honeymoon through consummation of the marriage act. Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God, and concludes with a vision of the "wedding-feast of the Lamb" Revelation Saint Joseph is the Patron Saint of Marriage. Joseph listened to the angel and accepted his divine mission by taking Mary as his wife and becoming the foster-father of Jesus Matthew Bishop Fulton J.

Sheen, in The World's First Love , noted in a Chapter entitled "The World's Happiest Marriage," that "no husband or wife ever loved each other as much as Joseph and Mary," for they had a pure union of heart. Augustine wrote that the true basis of married love is the attachment of hearts.

But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Mark "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Paul to the Corinthians "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church.

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband. Paul to the Ephesians , Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalms The family is the basic building block of society. The Holy Family is our best example of a loving family. The family is a community of life and love, founded upon marriage, to protect each family member and to communicate love.

Marriage provides commitment and security to each member of the family.

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A family gives you your identity and background, and a sense of belonging. Within our family we are able to share our daily experiences, and give our life meaning. The family is there to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and those important passages in life. The joy of a new baby entering your world is overwhelming. The family is there when you fall, to protect and support you in times of hardship. Your family is an opportunity to grow in virtue, such as love, generosity, and, yes, patience!

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And one quickly learns that forgiveness is the key to peace. A child is a blessing from God! The theme of the gift of Life as a blessing of God reverberates throughout Hebrew Scripture, our Old Testament of the Bible Examples: Genesis ; Psalms and ; Proverbs and We learn in the New Testament that Jesus Christ treasured children in his midst, and in fact said that we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven Matthew Remembering a birthday is so very important.

Not only is it a celebration of the child's birth and identity, but it is also a celebration of the suffering and joy of the mother, and the celebration of the union of the mother and father! Mothers and fathers complement each other in love and the raising of children in a natural community. The traditional view of the man as head and woman as heart has somewhat given way to a blending of roles in Western society, although mothers and fathers contribute in a different way to their children.

Mothers are gentle and receptive, give birth, nurse, and offer guidance and wisdom in an intuitive and sensitive manner. Fathers have physical strength and provide safety, tend to solve problems in an analytical fashion, teach survival skills and play sports, and serve as a role model for both sons and daughters.

Grandparents pass on love, spirituality, traditions, and values to their grandchildren, and today many assist in the daily care of children, especially when both parents are working. Relationships between generations give the child a true sense of community. When grandparents are ill or dying, grandchildren see their parents care for them, teaching them to seek not only their own good but also that of others. A young family is especially lots of fun. All of us would play baseball in the back yard. Everyone liked to dance together in the family room to some of the latest songs.

We enjoyed playing board games. One of our favorite family games was a version of "Hide and Go Seek in the Dark" - we would put on the theme song from Close Encounters of the Third Kind while everyone would hide, and when the music stopped, the person who was it would look for everybody with a flashlight. Dinnertime together was a chance to pray and review the day, as well as a time to laugh. After bedtime stories, our children were very good about saying prayers before going to sleep. Sunday was our family day. In a social context, those individuals or groups who manage to avoid the impure are accorded increased respect.

Still, another feature is a belief in the efficacy of sacrifice, including survivals of Vedic sacrifice. Thus, sacrifices may include the performance of offerings in a regulated manner, with the preparation of sacred space, recitation of texts, and the manipulation of objects. A third feature is the concept of merit, gained through the performance of charity or good works, that will accumulate over time and reduce sufferings in the next world. The home is the place where most Hindus conduct their worship and religious rituals.

The most important times of day for the performance of household rituals are dawn and dusk, although especially devout families may engage in devotion more often.

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For many households, the day begins when the women in the house draw auspicious geometric designs in chalk or rice flour on the floor or the doorstep. For orthodox Hindus, dawn and dusk are greeted with recitation from the Rig Veda of the Gayatri Mantra for the sun—for many people, the only Sanskrit prayer they know. After the ritual purification of a bath, the Hindu family conducts personal worship of the gods at their shrine, which typically includes lighting a lamp and offering foodstuffs before the images, while prayers in Sanskrit or a regional language are recited.

In the evenings, especially in rural areas, mostly female devotees may gather together for long sessions of singing hymns in praise of one or more of the gods. Minor acts of charity punctuate the day. During daily baths, there are offerings of a little water in memory of the ancestors.